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Arabian Mau Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on July 15, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Arabian Mau

Arabian Mau Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Arabian Maus are medium-sized, elegant cats believed to have developed in the Middle East centuries ago, most likely in Saudi Arabia or somewhere very close. They have been present in the area for more than 1,000 years! It took them quite a while to spread out to the rest of the world, but in 2008, the breed was finally recognized officially by the World Cat Federation.

Breed Overview


8–10 inches


8–16 pounds


9–17 years


White, black, red, brown, tabby

Suitable for:

Loving families and households with or without children or other pets


Independent, energetic, affectionate, playful, curious, outgoing

Arabian Maus are exceptionally active and athletic. They’re not your typical lazy house cats that like to lounge around all day; instead, they prefer to expend their energy running around and playing hard. Moreover, they’re highly intelligent creatures that need a lot of mental stimulation, such as interactive toys and puzzles that will challenge them and make them think.

But they’re more than just energetic cats. These are also affectionate creatures that want your attention and love and are happy to give it back. They bond very strongly with their family, though they’re not the kind of lap cats that will curl up on you all afternoon. Their independent nature makes them picky. Plus, they’re very vocal about their feelings.

Arabian Mau Cat Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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Arabian Mau Kittens

Arabian Mau Kitten
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Arabian Mau

The Arabian Mau is very affectionate. They strongly bond with their family members and can form equally close bonds with several people. They will follow you around the house, demanding your attention. They can also be very vocal about their desires and will  “scream” to let you know they need attention.

Even though they’re affectionate animals, they’re not the kind of cats that curl up in your lap for the afternoon. They are pretty independent and always do whatever pleases them. They’re also far too active to spend all day lounging on the couch beside you.

They have loads of energy, and you’ll need to ensure that you have plenty of toys and ways for them to stay engaged and prevent boredom. Puzzles and toys that make them work for a treat are excellent choices that stimulate them mentally and physically simultaneously.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

You can expect your Arabian Mau to be a loving and devoted companion, and they make great family pets. Remember, they love to soak up attention, so having several people to provide affection is ideal for them.

Arabian Maus are also known for being good with kids. While they’re not a great fit for young kids who can be unintentionally rough, they’re excellent with older kids who know how to behave with pets. You can expect to see your Arabian Mau bond nearly as closely with your kids as with you.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Many Arabian Maus are pretty territorial, though they’ll still get along with other pets with some socialization and training. Once they learn that they share a space with the other pets, they usually get along well with them, but they’ll retain their territorial tendencies with outside animals.

Arabian Maus have been known to get along well with dogs as long as they don’t give chase or act aggressively.

Black and white Arabian Mau
Image Credit: Mehdi Photos, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning an Arabian Mau:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

Arabian Maus love food. They have a very diverse pallet and will eat just about anything, but they have a knack for overeating. You must be careful about how much you’re feeding your Arabian Mau. If you provide food, they’ll eat it, even past the point of being full. If you’re not careful, it can lead to weight gain pretty quickly.

Luckily, aside from avoiding overfeeding, there aren’t any special considerations for feeding an Arabian Mau. They do well on high-quality wet and dry cat foods as long as they have plenty of protein from varied sources.

Exercise 🐈

Because Arabian Maus are so energetic, they need a lot of exercise. Unlike many cats, you can put an Arabian Mau on a leash and walk them with just a little training. However, they also love automated toys, laser pointers, and anything else that keeps them running around.

You’ll want to make sure that all their excess energy gets expended. Otherwise, it’ll build up until your cat displays some less-than-desirable behaviors.

Training 🧶

Arabian Maus are adaptable cats that can be easily trained in various ways. Litter box training is easy with an Arabian Mau. You can also train them to walk on a leash like a dog, but they can learn more advanced tricks. You can teach them rooms that they can and can’t access.

They can also learn to respond to their name. You can even train out the personality traits you don’t like in your Arabian Mau, such as leaping on the counter. You’ll probably never train out their demanding nature, however!

Arabian Mau kitten
Image Credit: Abhijith Lal, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Arabian Maus are shorthaired cats with a single coat. There’s no undercoat here to keep them warm since they come from a very warm climate. Thanks to that, grooming an Arabian Mau is very simple. They need only basic upkeep.

You can brush out their coat twice weekly to remove loose, dead hairs and prevent hairballs. This will also distribute your cat’s natural oils across their coat, keeping it looking and feeling healthy, shiny, and smooth. You should also brush their teeth a few times a week, check their ears, and trim their claws regularly.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Arabian Maus are very hardy cats. There are no health conditions that the breed is genetically predisposed to. If you adopt an Arabian Mau, you should be able to look forward to a long and healthy time together.

Minor Conditions
  • None
Serious Conditions
  • None

Male vs Female

Physically, the differences between male and female Arabian Maus are pretty minor. Males weigh a few pounds more than females and are a bit longer and taller, but there are more temperamental differences than physical ones.

Males are the quieter cats and the females are far more vocal. But it doesn’t stop there. Males are also more affectionate in general. Females can be quite affectionate, but males tend to display more outward affection for others.

Of course, their personalities can vary widely from cat to cat, so your Arabian Mau may or may not follow the trends.

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3 Little-Known Facts About The Arabian Mau Cat

1. They’re a Natural Cat Breed

Most breeds of domestic cats were developed by humans. Somebody purposefully bred different cats to create specific traits they wanted in a cat, creating a new breed along the way. But the Arabian Mau breed followed a different path.

With a long history stretching back centuries, they have existed since before we started manipulating our domesticated animals’ genetics. The Arabian Mau evolved without human interference, which makes them part of a select group of natural breeds that developed on their own.

2. They Crave Warmth

It’s no secret that much of the region where the Arabian Mau originates is a harsh, arid desert. After generations of living in such a landscape, the cats developed an affinity for the heat. Granted, they did most of their hunting and other activities at night when the hot sun wasn’t beating down on them.

But they still became used to the high desert temperatures. Modern Arabian Maus have the same blood flowing through their veins, and, they don’t do well in cold environments. They crave warmth and will seek out the warmest area in the house.

3. Their Ears Are a Special Feature

To deal with the high temperatures of the desert wasteland where they evolved, Arabian Maus had to develop unique traits. We already mentioned that they did most of their hunting and other activities when the temperatures were lower at night, but they had to deal with the heat, and since they weren’t nocturnal, they had to face the harsh sun during the day.

One of the main features they evolved to deal with the sun and heat was their ears. You’ll notice that Arabian Maus have very large, pointed, thin ears. They dissipate heat, helping to keep the cat cooler.

Arabian Mau
Image Credit: Mehdi Photos, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Affectionate, independent Arabian Maus are excellent companions that need love but will tell you how and when they want it. They’re very vocal and will always make their feelings known. They’ll show you a lot of love and will bond closely with everyone in the family, but don’t expect them to curl up on your lap for an evening of watching TV.

These cats are highly active. Your Arabian Mau will need daily exercise and plenty of stimulation. However, they can be trained more than most cats and are highly adaptable to many situations. Overall, they’re an excellent choice for anyone looking to add a feline to their family if they can locate one.

Featured Image Credit: SeraphP, Shutterstock

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